This post was initially going to be about the increasing prevalence of home diagnostic devices. One recent device is from Athelas. The device can analyze blood from a finger-prick droplet. It is meant to be used at home to allow patients to monitor changes in disease progression or to catch at the earliest stage whether a disease in remission is returning.

This should be an interesting topic in itself to medical device designers who are looking to get a sense of where design efforts should be focused in the future. But the Athelas device also highlights a broader design trend: a movement from the rectangle to the cylinder.

To package product components, designers’ go-to form is the box (in myriad creative interpretations). There is now a trend toward cylindrical forms, as evidenced by the Athelas device:

 

 

 

 

Designers are taking a cue from products like the Mac Pro:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and the Alexa:

Alexa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I expect we’ll be seeing more cylindrical forms in new products that are introduced. This new direction is something medical device designers will want to consider for their products currently under development.